Tag Archives: IT Calgary

How to Ensure Your Team Can Securely Work From Home

work from home

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, many companies continue to assess how they can best prioritize their employee safety and maintain regular business operations. Many companies and governments recommend employees work from home, where possible, to avoid exposure to illnesses and the subsequent loss of productivity. This article will cover some of the ways your company and employees can work from home safely, securely, and productively.

 

How Businesses Can Securely Work From Home

With the increase in remote work, companies have to respond in various ways to avoid cybersecurity risks or interruptions to business. “When supporting a remote workforce, understand that security controls shift. Therefore, firewalls, DNS, and IDS/IPS could be ineffective when employees head home. Most environments that support VPNs should be able to protect the remote user, be sure to account for the bandwidth of users and remote desktop sessions,” said Dan Garcia, Senior Information Security Engineer II at Datto.

 

VPN Guidance from CISA

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert to encourage organizations to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity. According to the CISA, remote work options require a VPN solution to connect employees to an organization’s network. The CISA encourages organizations to review the following recommendations when considering alternate workplace options: 

 

  • Update VPNs, network infrastructure devices, and devices used to remote into work environments with the latest software patches and security configurations. See CISA Tips Understanding Patches and Securing Network Infrastructure Devices. 
  • Alert employees to an expected increase in phishing attempts. See CISA Tip Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
  • Ensure IT security personnel are prepared to ramp up the following remote access cybersecurity tasks: log review, attack detection, and incident response and recovery. Per the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-46 v.2, Guide to Enterprise Telework, Remote Access, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Security, these tasks should be documented in the configuration management policy.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all VPN connections to increase security. If MFA is not implemented, require teleworkers to use strong passwords. (See CISA Tips Choosing and Protecting Passwords and Supplementing Passwords for more information.) 
  • Ensure IT security personnel test VPN limitations to prepare for mass usage and, if possible, implement modifications to prioritize users that will require higher bandwidths.

In addition, managed service providers (MSPs) are recommending the following best practices and advice for how businesses can remain secure through remote work scenarios.

 

  • Use a Secure WiFi Network: If possible, all remote workers should work on a secure, private home network instead of relying on public WiFi. Suppose employees send data through an unsecured WiFi connection. In that case, they lose the power of privacy, making it possible for cybercriminals to intercept data. Employees may be putting personal information at risk if they access email accounts or send sensitive data over a public WiFi network. It’s essential to ensure your network is secure by using a VPN and a strong password that isn’t easily cracked. 
  • Secure Home Workstations: Ensure everyone has fully patched and updated anti-virus and anti-malware software. It’s essential to follow the same best practices you would in the office and report any suspicious activity or concerns to internal IT or your MSP.
  • Coordinate With Your Internal IT or MSP: When working remotely, it’s crucial to continue your typical cybersecurity best practices and reach out with any questions or concerns.

 

Protect Remote Workers from Data Loss

As small and medium-sized (SMBs) businesses worldwide continue to adapt to remote work, there has been a surge in the use of cloud collaboration apps. According to research from Techaisle, 74% of SMBs are using collaboration focused SaaS solutions. 

In adjusting to a completely remote, digital workforce, businesses need tools to quickly and effectively enhance how they handle new compliance, security and data loss risks. Many companies have turned to cloud-based solutions like Microsoft 365 and G Suite. At one point, Microsoft Teams gained more than 12 million daily users in a single week – up 37.5% – and then suffered an outage due to the rapid rise in demand. 

While Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace may make collaboration more efficient, data protection and management remain challenging. To address that threat, SMBs need a reliable solution for this growing reliance on the cloud and Datto’s SaaS Protection can help.

 

Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace Data are not Automatically Protected 

SaaS data is not immune to permanent data loss. Both Microsoft and Google make no guarantees when it comes to restoring deleted data, whether it’s human error or a malicious ransomware attack. Also, the move to remote work has triggered a wave of new cyberattacks. Previously, only 12% of all malicious traffic was directed at remote workers. Still, according to ITProPortal, this has jumped to 60% during the pandemic. 

 

Reduce Risk and Avoid Downtime with Datto SaaS Protection 

An independent data backup separate from the SaaS app itself is necessary to avoid the most common data loss pitfalls. Setup, backup, and recovery can all be made remotely by your MSP, ensuring data is protected and managed efficiently. Want to learn more about our reliable SaaS backup and easy recovery? Contact our product experts today!

 

Services Protected by Datto SaaS Protection
Office 365

  • Exchange
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint
  • Teams
Google Workspace 

  • Gmail
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Shared Drives

 

Staying Connected & Productive When Working Remotely

Whether your team consists of members across different geographic locations or you have full remote employees, there are ways to work within the confines of temporary team member isolation. Here are some tips and suggestions for how your company can stay productive and communicative while working from home:

 

Communication tools need to be your go-to solution
  • Video conferencing systems, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, will be your best friend. Ask yourself, “Is this conversation better-suited face-to-face?” If so, book 15 minutes with someone over your video conferencing system instead of managing these communications over email or a messaging tool. It will go the distance to keep you and your teammates in sync.
  • Slack and Microsoft Teams messaging tools are a great way to continue moving through processes and asking critical questions to team members. This is a quick way to get answers and to communicate small needs or changes with the group. 
  • Don’t be afraid just to pick up the phone and call someone. Share your phone number with your colleagues when you need to have a quick conversation.

 

Block off “Do Not Disturb” time on your calendar each day
  • Communication tools, especially when remote, can become your entire day if you don’t manage your time appropriately. Establishing blocks of time where you request not to be interrupted to concentrate on your work is crucial.
  • Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” feature to limit your notification overload. Getting constantly pinged can be overwhelming for anyone. Do your best to reduce distractions when you need to go heads down on problem-solving for an hour.

 

When you’re in a video meeting, turn on your camera and pay attention
  • It’s easy to get distracted by other inquiries you’re receiving when you’re on a video meeting, especially when you can’t just close your laptop like when you’re in a conference room with team members. The only way to avoid this is to turn off notifications and focus on the session’s content. 
  • Turning on your camera allows people to read your expressions and interact with you more effectively. Additionally, it gives you the incentive to be present in the meeting instead of handling other issues during the call. 

 

Working from home is about balance. Make sure you take frequent breaks and monitor your working hours as you would if you were commuting. It’s easy to burnout when you work from home, so talk with your manager if you feel that you are struggling to be productive. Use the tools you have at your disposal to continue being effective contributors and collaborators with your remote team members.

If you’re looking for an expert team to help improve your company’s work from home tools and security, contact Hemi IT Solutions today!

 

Why Your Business Needs A Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation and its Importance in Business

What is a digital transformation, and why is it important? Technology is essential for all businesses in today’s digital age. From startups to established businesses, it’s imperative to remain competitive and relevant.  

Digital transformation ensures digital technology is incorporated into all areas of a business, replacing manual or analog processes with digital procedures and ensuring the effective use of new technology. Ultimately enhancing how you manage and add value to every customer interaction within your company. 

Consolidate Information. Streamline Data. Communicate Better. 

At Hemi IT Solutions, we provide a seamless transition. Every company’s specific needs, stage of growth and pace of change are factors to consider when implementing a digital change. A digital transformation is intended to improve business capabilities composed of people, process, and technology best practices. 

Moving manual or analog processes to digital can be a challenging undertaking that requires time, acceptance and investment but operating will allow you to transform your business and allow your company to adapt to today’s ever-changing digital landscape.  

In this article, we will explore the business benefits your company can see through digital transformation. 

The benefits far outweigh the challenges. Making your business more accessible to a larger demographic, allowing you to develop more long-lasting relationships with new and existing clients. An effective transformation is a key component in a company’s successful business strategy. 

Adaptability and Digital Transformation 

If there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it is the importance of going digital. Being able to access your information securely, from anywhere at any time, is a necessity. The pandemic has compelled many businesses to adopt cloud-based software and video technology to ensure the ability to work remotely. The ongoing situation made businesses evaluate their digital capabilities and adapt accordingly. 

Integrating digital processes into your business strategy is vital to ensure your business’s success is not reliant on analog processes.  

Going digital is pertinent for internal communication and external information when implementing data collection tools and analytics to improve customer experience. Particular customer datasets make it easier to assess, assemble and evaluate customer information, making for improved engagement and acquisition. Essentially, helping enhance business strategies and growth.

Creating digital workplaces is an exciting endeavour for any business as it guarantees longevity, flexibility, and success well into the future. Hemi IT Solutions can help your company adapt to this ever-changing digital age. 

Approachability and Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is about improving how your business connects with its customers and adds value to every customer interaction with the company. 

Undergoing this transformation can make your company more approachable over the leading competitor. The user experience (UX) or customer experience (CX) is a leading priority. A seamless and intuitive experience can create new and returning customers and consistent ROI. 

Today’s customers expect to have information instantly, whether through comprehensive and mobile-friendly cross-functional web platforms or instant messaging systems and chatbots. No matter what industry, whether B2B or B2C, the customer expects a certain level of service and responsiveness. Providing your customer with a consistent experience across platforms will provide your company with a competitive advantage and why companies worldwide continue to make substantial investments in digital initiatives.  

Hemi IT Solutions can provide a seamless transition to any new software and hardware implementation. We understand new technologies deliver the greatest value when they seamlessly integrate with existing systems.

Accountability and Digital Transformation

Another benefit of digital transformation is that it keeps the business accountable to its employees, clients, and overall objectives. 

An effective digital strategy can empower employees to deliver more productivity by improving internal communication and collaboration through integrated intranets and cloud-based services. Undergoing a digital transformation and incorporating technology in daily operations creates a collective digital culture within a company and allows for additional connectivity and teamwork. Hemi IT Solutions can help you implement modern systems to help your team manage their workloads more efficiently and provide insights into employee and business performance. 

Lastly, by helping companies achieve their digital transformation, we ultimately help them develop process efficiencies, streamline operations, and increase productivity, generating a competitive edge for the company and achieving their broader business goals and objectives.

With a successful digital transformation, all departments are empowered to communicate efficiently, manage the appropriate projects and access necessary data with ease.

Make the Change Today

Digital transformation is an essential part of business and imperative to remain competitive and relevant. Integrating modern technologies into everyday business operations is essential for success in today’s digital world and a vital tool in enhancing customer experience, employee productivity and overall success.

Digital transformation positions companies for growth and improves integration between different areas within a value chain, and enhanced business performance. Today, a digital transformation strategy will help your business be more adaptable, approachable, and accountable for future successes tomorrow. 

Hemi IT Solutions can help you undergo your digital transformation today and help implement custom solutions. Reach out to our team and learn how we can help you with your digital transformation.

4 Elements You Absolutely Need for a Reliable IT Strategy

Reliable IT Strategy

Why You Need a Reliable IT Strategy

An effective IT strategy creates a roadmap for technology to shape and support your company’s entire business plan. Information Technology plays a vital role for every individual within the business, including employees, executive leadership, and customers. For an IT strategy to be robust and efficient, it must mirror business goals, projects, and strategy. Therefore IT isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. An IT strategy that works well for one company often won’t suit another perfectly. A reliable IT strategy considers an organization’s mission, values, plans and outlook for achieving goals when building the IT infrastructure.

With the evolution and growth of technology, a cutting-edge IT strategy that supports the security, development and functions of a company is becoming more critical than ever for businesses. An effective IT strategy can boost sales, improve customer experiences, streamline marketing, and support communication between partners, vendors and consumers.

When building an IT strategy for your company, there are four elements to consider: hardware, software, security and support. They must co-operate and accentuate one another to function well and improve business practices.

HARDWARE

High-quality hardware is the cornerstone of any effective IT solution. When you invest in premium hardware, it can save you from unnecessary lulls in productivity. From laptops and desktop computers to wireless routers and network servers, quality hardware keeps things running smoothly and provides added value because of durability.

When it comes to your network server, you need a solution to support your organization’s database, email functions, and additional files in a secure fashion with backup capabilities. Many companies are moving to cloud services for their server functionality. Utilizing the cloud allows companies to scale functions to fit their specific needs. Users can get their applications to market fast. Cloud technology is the most innovative solution available at this point, and when appropriately used, gives users a competitive advantage.

You can choose between public, private or hybrid storage based on the security needs for data, plus the control choices are entirely customizable. Cloud-based applications are easily accessible from practically anywhere and streamline work processes. They regularly update to stay current with changes and ultimately save companies money on servers and other equipment.

SOFTWARE

Software, and the data you’re putting on your hardware devices, is meant to maintain and control the business strategy. Businesses with innovative software solutions automate many business tasks and reports, streamline processes and save the organization time and money.

When building your IT strategy, you want to seek opportunities to program software functionality to fulfill business requirements. Depending on your company’s needs, you could require different solutions for tasks such as tracking inventory, recording accounting information, or storing data to manage other business activities.

SECURITY

Arguably the most critical detail of IT strategy is security. Security puts strongholds and processes in place to protect your company and customers’ data. Without a solid security strategy, your business could be at risk of hackers, cyber attacks, email scams, stolen information or worse.

When creating your IT strategy, it’s essential to list and be aware of potential threats that could affect your system. For each risk, realistic and actionable solutions or preventative measures need to be in place to ensure the risk never comes to fruition or escalates. Strong security reduces potential downtime and sets you apart as a trustworthy and reliable business.

SUPPORT

A reliable IT strategy is a pro-active one, and it’s essential to focus on the future and the present. Ongoing IT support is a big part of innovative technology implementation. Great support always keeps operations running smoothly and introduces new technologies that will propel your business to the next level.

Our team at Hemi IT Solutions is dedicated to building successful, strategic, and customized IT plans for businesses in any industry. We keep up to date with advancing technology, monitor your hardware, software, servers, and provide ground-breaking solutions for your business’s continuity and future. Get in touch with our team today for a complimentary technical assessment and learn how we can help boost your business with our IT managed services.

Hemi IT Solutions Merges with Technology Group Jot Digital Inc. | Press Release

October 1, 2020. Earlier this year, IT experts and managed service provider Hemi IT Solutions was acquired by technology company Jot Digital Inc. Both are Calgary-based, and the move brings together two highly complementary companies and will strengthen one another’s capacity to support their clients, specifically in the delivery of IT Managed Service and Consulting.

Jot and Hemi are now able to service and support more customers across North America and add value with an expanded list of business solutions including IT Management, Business Systems Integration, Software and App Development, and Digital Marketing. Jot’s current IT clients will benefit from Hemi’s decade of experience and enjoy faster and more reliable support.

“This is a good move for Hemi IT, and we’re excited to merge with Jot.” said Travis Hemsworth, “Jot is young, but they are an emerging technology company. True visionaries in pro-active thinking, they aim to rationalize IT footprints and stay one step ahead of ever-changing technology. We see multiple benefits and added value for our clients in combining our forces, and we look forward to a productive future.”

Ian Hedgeland, President and CEO of Jot Digital explained, “We are a much stronger full-service tech company now. With Hemi IT Solutions, we can deliver faster response times and better customer service to all our valued clients. Collectively, we aim to provide a fair-priced solution focused on keeping small to medium-sized businesses operational and secure, while within an efficient footprint. My goal is for Jot to become one of Canada’s leading technology companies, providing 360-degree digital solutions.”

 

About Jot Digital

Jot Digital Inc. is a full-service tech provider with a wide array of clients throughout Canada and the United States. They know every customer is unique and needs their own tech strategy to succeed. Jot’s priority is their customers’ satisfaction, and they achieve that through pro-active thinking and accountable, reliable work. They provide a fresh perspective on technology and aim to infuse any organization with new ideas and insights when managing IT systems, writing software, planning a digital roadmap, or securing a business’s continuity through disaster recovery solutions.

 

About Hemi IT

For over a decade, Hemi IT Solutions has made it their mission to provide fair-priced B2B service. Communication is the centerpiece of their fast, responsive, reliable IT support. They focus on creating and maintaining partnerships with their clients based on trust, efficiency, and follow-through. Hemi strives to provide excellent customer service while delivering scalable IT Solutions needed to drive their customers’ success. They also take care of the day-to-day maintenance to ensure that the technology used by every customer they support, is operating as effectively and efficiently as possible.

For more information, please contact:

Ian Hedgeland | President and CEO | Jot Digital Inc.

Phone 403.975.4426 | ian@jot.digital